American jockey, Ron Franklin, Died at 58

Ron Franklin was born on December 20, 1959, in Baltimore, Maryland and died on March 8, 2018

He was a jockey in American Thoroughbred horse racing.

When he was 19, rode Spectacular Bid to wins at the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes.

Franklin grew up in nearby Dundalk, he was the youngest of six children.

Franklin attended Patapsco High School where he briefly played on the school’s baseball team.

Franklin was so small in stature (Franklin was 4 foot 7 inches or 1.40 m tall and weighed 72 pounds), the coach would insert him into the line-up, hoping to draw a base on balls.

He dropped out of high school when he was 16 years old.

Franklin set off for the local racetrack in 1976, looking for work as a jockey where he met trainer, Bud Delp.

However, Delp hired him as a stablehand where he learned the business from the ground up.

Franklin cleaned stables, walked horses and did other odd jobs around the track.

He was later sent to a training center in Middleburg, Virginia, there, he learned to ride yearlings.

He died of lung cancer in Baltimore on March 8, 2018.

He died at 58 years old.